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Doc’s Da Name

What’s a Trumbull Man? I’m not entirely sure. But I know one (pause) when I see one. And Dwight “Doc” Gooden is that.

Doc broke into the bigs in 1984 and proceeded to pitch three years of the best baseball anyone ever saw. A Nike mural featuring the Mets ace remained on the side of the Holland Hotel on w. 42nd St. for 10 years. (Speaking of numbers, Doc’s appetite was revered around the clubhouse — one teammate claimed Gooden ate 30 chicken wings in one sitting.) The boy was young and skinny, tall like a string bean and straight out of high school in Tampa, Fla., (with a pit stop in Class A Lynchburg, where he went 19-4) with a 98 mph heater and an infectious fun-loving attitude that New York City adored. They nicknamed his curveball “Lord Charles” and dubbed him Doctor K, eventually shortened to Doc. He was The Man in New York during Wall Street’s heyday, though No. 16 would eventually amble down a dark path, struggling with cocaine addiction for the remainder of his career, which ended in 2001 with the Yankees at spring training.

A troubled a man as ever a Trumbull Man was, Dwight Gooden, we salute thee.

The baseball-rock nexus is a weird one. Lots of serious guys with goatees and bad white shoes, lots of guitars, lots of Americana. Some weird indie rock bands have baseball-themed albums. But this photo might be weirder. And weirder in the good Psycho Sin way, not the bad intense goatee way.

“Life’s a gamble it’s all how you play / The cards that you’re dealt, the chances that you take / Life’s a gamble, it’s all how you roll / You’re in it to win it, or just go with the flow”

One of us grew up in Maine and had this poster up on our wall. That’s Red Sox country. Dwight’s the name, and it still resonates.

Man, how messed up do you have to be when Mike Tyson is the most put-together person in the picture? These guys (Dwight, left, and Darryl, center), really fell off hard. Like, bad. Mike was a boxer. Boxers are all on borrowed time to begin with. But baseball prodigies, two of them, flaming out, that’s tough to watch from here, just looking at the photo. It’s not even my team and it hurts. Some claim his arm was overused — he pitched a total of 550 innings in 1985 and ’86, not yet 22 — some say it was the drugs. It might have just been being a Major League pitcher that did him in. I can only imagine what it was like for little Mets fan kids at the time. To be fair, it was a slow death, and none of it happened overnight.

dwight gooden mural new york city holland hotel